While spending time and taking care to make sure your website is a perfect fit and is set up to suit your needs, the web host you’re going to use can be something of an afterthought. However, choosing the right one can make a big difference in terms of cost, scalability, and the online experience of your visitors.
Bearing in mind a few key points can ensure you choose the hosting service and don’t run the risk of needing to switch providers in the future. These are the things to consider:
What is the Purpose of Your Website?
Before committing to a web host, it’s crucial to know exactly what you want your website to do and its purpose to make a selection that will best serve you. Is the site for your business, or will it be a personal website featuring a blog and family photos, for example?
If it’s for a business, will you be selling online – therefore requiring you to have an SSL certificate and e-commerce functionality?
Do you want to build the site yourself, or will you be using a builder and templates? Do you require a customer management system to be incorporated to keep track of your clients? Have a look here for more information on how to pick the perfect host server, including additional things to consider.
Thinking about all of these things, and being crystal clear about the purpose of your website, will help you to narrow down your options when it comes to a web host.
Different Hosting Options
There are four main hosting options for your website:
If your website doesn’t need a great deal of space – and is unlikely to in the future – then a shared host could be a good, cost-effective option. Personal websites or business sites that don’t incorporate an online shop could typically choose a shared host provider.
This type of hosting is where several websites or customers share the same server – this option tends to be simple and uncomplicated. Due to this division of resources, your site may suffer a slow down if your web traffic increases significantly.
This option is good for very large websites, or those featuring large online stores or that have significantly high levels of traffic. Although a dedicated server is one of the most expensive options, opting for it means you’ll never need to worry about scaling problems or running out of disk space.
Round-the-clock support managed hosting and a range of high-end features and tools are typically included in a dedicated server package.
This type of hosting is perfect for new start-ups or small businesses that expect to grow. Cloud hosting allows you to pay just for the space you require and to easily upscale when you need to without the need for additional equipment or infrastructure.
Like cloud hosting, a VPS (Virtual Private Server) is easy to scale up, so it can be perfect for businesses that anticipate imminent growth. Be aware, though: you’ll be paying for the additional space whether or not you currently use it.
A VPS is similar to a shared hosting option as it also splits a server between several customers – however, the portion of space allocated to each website is larger, and users tend to have more control over their sites.
Factors To Think About When Choosing
As well as thinking about what exactly the purpose of your website is, there are some other key elements to think about to get the hosting provider that best suits your needs.
You may want to check that the host you’re considering allows you to transfer or migrate your domain name – if you already have one – over. Some hosts also offer a year free when a new domain name is registered with them.
Email hosting is likely to be particularly of interest for businesses looking at a web hosting service, who may well want their domain name incorporated into their email address. Inbox tools also tend to include features allowing for filtering, autoresponse, and enhanced security.
If your site is likely to need a lot of storage or will in the foreseeable future, then it’s worth making sure that the hosting provider offers enough so that there’s no risk of a site slowing down or problems with page loading.
While some providers offer unlimited storage, this isn’t always the case in practice, so check this carefully if you’re likely to need a lot of disk space for your site to run optimally.
Uptime and Reliability
If you run a business, maximum uptime is crucial – just a few minutes of your site being offline could equal lost sales or leads. With this in mind, check the hosting providers’ uptime stats and also have a look at plenty of customer reviews to find out the real experiences of users concerning uptime and reliability.
And finally, it’s important to take the security credentials of the web host into consideration when choosing one for your website: weak web host server infrastructure accounts for around 40% of site hacks or breaches.
Look for a provider that incorporates firewalls, monitoring services, and a range of security add-ons for peace of mind.